2012-12-07 - Doowhuh?
Has there been a time in your life, when someone has asked you to do something completely absurd, and you’ve thought, "You want me to doowhuh?” (Do what?) Or perhaps they've told you of some ridiculous thing they were going to do, and you've asked, "You gonna doowhuh?" These questions are really about our belief or disbelief. I imagine that there was just a couple of these “ doowhuh"-type moments in the Christmas story some two thousand years ago. Zacharias, an old priest, was serving in the temple, when the angel Gabriel appeared to him and told him he and his wife would have a child. Just the fact that an angel appeared before him, and made this announcement, should have been enough to convince him, but …
Luke 1:18-20 (NASB)
He was like, "Yeah right! You gonna doowhuh? We’re too old to be having no babies. Gabe, can I call you Gabe? Gabe, you’re whack!" Zacharias didn't believe. He asked for more proof. Can you imagine a messenger of God, an angel, appears right now in front of you, and tells you something. Then you demand proof. That seems pretty whack to me. And so Zacharias wound up with a curse, of sorts. He was unable to speak. Perhaps that was meant to be a double blessing for his wife, Elizabeth. The same angel appeared to another person, several months later. Gabriel startled a young Mary, and told her that she would soon give birth to a wonderful son – our Savior.
Luke 1:34-37 (NASB)
Now, she did a double take, too, but hers reads more like, "Doowhuh? I know God can do anything - but can I get the details? It takes two to tango, and I’m a solo act right now, so … if you could fill in the blanks, I’d appreciate it." Mary did believe. She couldn't understand how it would happen - but had no problems believing that it would. She didn't demand proof, but instead inquired on how it would happen. She was blessed for her faith. There were two related people, two similar encounters, but two very different results. I think we can learn a couple things from these two stories, about having faith.
First, having faith means believing without evidence. Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. (Hebrews 11:1 – KJV)
Zacharias was thinking, "Oh yeah, prove it!" The physical proof of an angel appearing in front of him was not enough. If you’re not going to believe, no amount of evidence is going to make you believe. Jesus once told the story of a rich man and Lazarus. They died. The rich man looked over at Lazarus and Abraham. He was in agony. He screamed, "It's hot as hell down here. Please go tell my brothers; I don't want them to ever come here." Abraham told him that even a guy returning from the dead wouldn't convince the rich man’s brothers, if the prophets that were alive couldn't. No amount of proof is ever enough, if someone has made up their mind that they're not going to believe.
Second, from Mary, we learn that having faith means believing with questions. Yes that's right – with questions. It's okay to not know it all, and still believe. Mary believed. She couldn’t imagine how it would happen, but she believed it would - so she asked for the details. One man came to Jesus, seeking a miracle for his sick child. He approached the Master, saying, "If you can help my child, please do." Jesus replied back, "What do you mean if?" The man cried out "help my unbelief." He had enough faith to seek Jesus out - and that was enough. He didn't have all the faith he could have, but Jesus even told his disciples they only had to have faith the size of a tiny mustard seed, to do great things.
God is always looking for people to jump in with him, on some crazy idea that will turn the world upside-down and bring him glory. How will you respond, when he calls on you? Doowhuh?